Contour Crafting and QUIKRETE announce concrete 3D printing partnership

Contour Crafting Corporation (CC Corp) has announced a collaboration with the QUIKRETE Companies that will see the former combine its concrete 3D printing technology with the latter’s advanced concrete mix.

The companies believe by working together they can establish concrete 3D printing as a method of constructing elements and buildings more quickly, efficiently and affordably than conventional methods.  

CC Corp is currently in the process of confirming Acceptance Criteria AC509 for the building of 3D printed concrete walls using its Contour Crafting technology, which uses a robotic system that moves upwards as concrete material is laid down by the construction module. As a result of its partnership with QUIKRETE, CC Corp will now be able to lay down an advanced concrete mix that has been formulated to include a coarse aggregate specifically for CC Corp’s system. QUIKRETE’s advanced concrete mix is also said to boast shape-holding thixotropic properties and rapid-setting and dimensional stability features.

The Contour Crafting technology has been designed primarily to provide low-income housing and homes for disaster relief, with 2,000-square-foot buildings able to be constructed within days. After AC509 compliance has been confirmed – extensive testing is currently taking place at the University of Southern California – CC Corp will deploy its Contour Crafting system, as well as QUIKRETE’s concrete mix, to build four low-income housing units as part of a demonstration project sponsored by the Los Angeles County Development Authority.

Through projects like this, both CC Corp and QUIKRETE are hoping to prove out concrete printing processes as viable methods of building structures. To give themselves a better chance of doing so, the companies have sought to combine their expertise.  

“QUIKRETE appreciates the practical approach taken by Contour Crafting to address real-life issues that we can anticipate as we implement this game-changing, concrete-printing technology,” commented Chuck Cornman, Chief Technology Officer at the QUIKRETE Companies. “The material properties needed for 3D concrete printing are closely aligned with QUIKRETE’s core technologies in rheological tuning, hydration and set time control and managing dimensional stability.”

“CC Corp is pleased with the collaboration arrangement with the QUIKRETE Companies as it aspires to create useful construction technologies that offer structurally and economically viable solutions that perform at least as well as the conventional concrete construction practices,” added Dr. Behrokh Khoshnevis, CC Corp’s CEO.

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